The Crescent City: finally

It only took us eight years, a few plane rides, and a round trip car ride to get there. But we’d finally made it. New Orleans. The Big Easy. The Crescent City. It was bliss…fully hot.

When I learned that we had the opportunity to fly into New Orleans for our pre-trip, I was thrilled. I’m not sure why the idea of going there was so important to me, but it was. I had to go. Maybe it was just that I don’t like being told I can’t do something and our attempt to get there in 2006…well, I just couldn’t have it remain: The Crescent City: 1/The Millers: 0. I had to even the score.

Sidenote: If you’re going to travel to New Orleans, might I suggest you take a quick detour to Kenner, LA first and stop in at the Tastee Restaurant. .Just a for minute or two.

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Especially if you have a craving for donuts. Amazingly good, yummy, delicious, and huge donuts. Like these:

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In my attempt to take a lesson or two from the trip planner, I did a quick Google search of New Orleans. If I was going to get there, I was going to find a literary place to visit. Faulkner House Books; JACKPOT. The fact that it was located a mere twenty minutes or so from the airport, even better.

If only it were that simple though. Instead of a quick four hour flight from Seattle, we were delayed an hour and then after taking off, the plane turned around. Thankfully another plane was available and with some juggling of seats we were on our way again. The delay meant we didn’t get there until dark though so we forfeited sight-seeing until the return trip.

A week later, we were back. We pitched our tent at the KOA (after dark of course, disturbing everyone) and needed to find some food before turning in. We were told that Dot’s Diner was the place to go. Dot’s is a place where all the locals to hang out. Open 24/7, they serve breakfast all day (I recommend the Belgian waffle).

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Saturday we got up and headed out to explore. My husband’s plan was to go see Bourbon Street. Once there, I was struck by the creative spirit of the town. There was a group playing music. Local artists had their paintings and drawings on display. Little shops were all over the place selling clothes, jewelry, shoes, and souvenirs.

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Unfortunately there was an odor that I hadn’t expected as we walked around. It was something I could have prepared myself for if I’d done my research, but what can you do. We strolled from street to street and it was just my luck that Faulkner House Books was just a few blocks down from where we’d parked the van.

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When I walked in, I was ecstatic. It was quaint and darling and filled with books. It was like walking on sacred ground, for bookworms. And my family walked out. I’m definitely the nerd in our family now that our older son has left the nest. He would have found it interesting, but he’s away at Basic Training and missed out. I bought a copy of the first book Faulkner’s ever written and had hubby take a picture of me posing by the door.

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For lunch we wandered over to 711 The Heat more out of convenience than anything else. It’s hard to choose a good place to eat when you aren’t familiar with the area and when you’re practically comatose from the heat and humidity. It’s so hot in NOLA! The alligator po boy was surprisingly good. The shrimp po boy tasted fresh but had no dressing of any kind. The atmosphere in the back courtyard was 5* for sure though, the mist cooled things off a lot.

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As we were driving to the airport to head home hubby asked me what I thought of The Crescent City. My response: The spirit of creativity was amazing. It was like the people there were comfortable in their own skin and confident in their talent. As a constant second-guesser, I envied them. I didn’t care for the odor on Bourbon Street and I can definitely do without the heat. Knowing that we’d finally made it was glorious. It’s one more state we’ve made it to in our travels.

You know it’s funny. My husband and I have taken our kids on many trips in our fifteen years together. We’ve been to places as down to Earth as the Midwest, as relaxing as the beach, as remote as villages in Alaska, and now as unique as New Orleans. As they launch out of the nest and decide where they’ll set up house someday, they will definitely be able to make an informed decision before putting down roots.

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Where do your travels take you? If you’ve been to New Orleans, what did you think?

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